Korean War in the News is an edited review of hand-picked Korean War related news and articles.

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'The Forgotten War', 'Fatherland Liberation War' in North Korea - The Korean War 1950-1953 started as a civil war between North Korea and South Korea, which soon escalated into a multi-national conflict. Combatants were North Korea, supported by Soviet combat advisors, aircraft pilots, and weapons, and later by China; and South Korea, backed by the United States with detachments from many nations under the aegis of the United Nations.


WWII

Controversy

British and commonwealth soldiers committed atrocities during the Korean War
Atrocities were committed by British and commonwealth soldiers during the Korean War, claims a new book. "Scorched Earth, Black Snow: Britain and Australia in the Korean War, 1950" - by Andrew Salmon - describes an incident where an Australian soldier told two North Korean POWs to walk away from him and then shot them with their own submachine gun. Lance-Corporal Don Barrett of the Middlesex Regiment recalls how a soldier of the Royal Australian Regiment dealt with POWs: "Out in the field was an Aussie and he had two gooks - he'd taken their gun - and he motioned and they started walking away. It misfired, so he called them back. One came back and fixed it. They walked away, then he mowed them down."
(theaustralian.com.au)

Report: 5,000 civilians killed by the United States during Korean War
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Korea has produced the first official estimation of the number of people killed by the United States. Their report states that 5,291 civilians were killed by the American forces after the 3-year war broke out on June 25, 1950. Most of the victims were women, children and the elderly - and the primary cause of death was the aerial bombing.
(koreatimes.co.kr)

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Korea: Korean War Massacres
Over 2 million people were killed during the Korean War - not only military personnel but also civilians. Few are aware that the Korean authorities as well as American and allied forces massacred hundreds of thousands of South Korean civilians at the start of the Korean War on June 25, 1950. The official records as well as survivor testimonies, reveal that mass killings by South Korean and U.N forces took place before and during the Korean War (June 1950 to July 1953). These incidents may be grouped into 4 types, one of them: civilian and refugee deaths from bombings and shootings in U.S. combat operations.
(japanfocus.org)

Over 100,000 civilians massacred by allies during Korean War
OVer 100,000 South Korean civilians were killed by allied troops fighting alongside Britain and the U.S. in the Korean War, an official probe has revealed. Authorities have discovered mass burial sites with thousands of bodies, including scores of kids. Trawls of records including declassified files in Washington have uncovered evidence of the massacres of at least 100,000 people - suspected of having sympathy with the North Koreans. In some cases, American forces are alleged to have been present and in at least one case an American officer authorised a massacre of prisoners thought to have left-wing sympathies.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Chinese war museum casts America in harsh light
At the Museum of the War to Resist American Aggression and Aid Korea, it's as if the clock stopped 55 years ago. "I feel like I am right there on the front lines. I can feel what the Chinese soldiers felt. In this place, Americans are the enemy," said Wang Binyan. The museum in Dandong tells a personal version of the Korean War, one that casts America in a negative light. Hundreds of historical pictures and exhibits present a pro-Beijing side of a conflict that saw Chinese forces rush to the aid of North Korea. There are accusations of U.S. germ warfare, and maps and pictures that purportedly show evidence of widespread civilian damage from American bombs.
(sfgate.com)

Alleged communists massacred under the eyes of American soldiers [photos]
On 5 May 2008, the US National Archives and Records Administration declassified U.S. Army photos of potential communist sympathisers being massacred by South Korean authorities 1950-1951. Tackling a sensitive subject, the evidence adds more weight behind the argument that the U.S. were partly to blame. When the North Korea stormed its southern counterpart, marking the start of the Korean War in June 1950, the southern authorities panicked. Fearing a revolt from these hundreds of thousands of supposed left-leaning thinkers, the South Korean government ordered that they be eliminated.
(france24.com)

Were missing Korean War pilots taken to USSR?
The story of the world`s first jet dogfights will be told in "Missing in MiG Alley," which will detail the fight for air dominance between the U.S. Air Force`s F-86 Sabre and the Soviet MiG-15bis in the early phases of the Korean War. The focus is on the unknown fates of the 30 British and American pilots downed during the war whose remains have never been found. The show raises the question of whether some of those pilots may have been transported to Russia and probed on America`s jet technology. The fact that American and Russian pilots were fighting at all over Korea was long kept secret by both governments to avoid World War III.
(airforcetimes)

Impostor war hero is sentenced
71-year-old Roy Scott, who posed as a decorated Korean War veteran, broke down in tears as a judge sentenced him to 4 months of electronically monitored home confinement. He admitted in a plea agreement that he impersonated as a Marine major and used a phoney military discharge certificate to get $21,960 worth of veterans benefits. Looking on in court and wearing a red satin jacket with the Marine Corps seal decorated on the back, Harry Findley called the sentence a "travesty of justice." Findley, whose father was a Marine officer who died at Guadalcanal during the Second World War, thinks Scott should have been sent to prison.
(seattlepi)

US House Bill Proposes Giving Citizenship to Korean War Children
Californian congresswoman Zoe Lofgren proposed bill "Amerasian Paternity Recognition Act" that would grant U.S. citizenship to children born to American servicemen during the 1950-1953 Korean War.
(koreatimes)

Farewell to Australia's last Top Gun - Captain George Hale
George Hale fought off two Russian MiG 15 fighter jets during the Korean War, saving his mates. He was 22 when he made history for shooting down the last plane of any RAAF squadron, a record he holds to this day. "George was conducting road reconnaissance when, below him, he noticed a pair of US RF-80 Shooting Stars, pursued by a pair of MiGs. George immediately turned and dived to engage the MiGs, he fired his air-to-ground rockets between the 2 enemy aircraft and split them up... Dave felt hits on his aircraft and George immediately turned to protect him from another pair of MiGs, telling him to head to cloud cover below, and then George engaged another of the MiGs."
(goldcoast)

Thousands of Korean POWs were sent to Soviet Union
A declassified U.S. document said North Korea sent thousands of South Korean prisoners of war (POWs) to the former Soviet Union during the 1950-1953 Korean War, most of them never repatriated or exchanged even after an armistice ended the conflict. Dated Aug. 26, 1993, the Defense Department document "Transfer of U.S. Korean War POWs to the Soviet Union" said Korean as well as U.S. soldiers were transferred as part of a highly secret program approved by the inner Soviet circle of leaders. The rationale was to exploit and counter U.S. aircraft technologies and to use the prisoners for intelligence purposes.
(yonhapnews)

VA officials set record straight, destroy veteran's headstone
John Edward George Jr.'s grave was marked with two headstones, one of which had words and an image showing he had been awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery on the battlefield. But employees pulled that stone from George's grave and hit it with a sledgehammer until the words and image were no longer recognizable. George, who was an Army pilot and served during the Korean War, never received the Medal of Honor. The headstone had been authorized by the government in 1988. George claimed to have flown on secret missions in Laos before the Vietnam War. After an inquiry, VA officials searched records and found that George was not among its Medal of Honor recipients.
(starnewsonline)

U.S. planned nuclear strike on North Korea during Korean War
Eisenhower authorized the use of nuclear weapons on North Korea in May 1953. During the Korean War, the U.S.-led U.N. force dropped more bombs than were dropped in Europe during WWII. Still, the North Korean military refused to back down. After 28 months Washington remained unable to take control of the entire Korean peninsula. On May 19, 1953, general Omar Bradley wrote to Eisenhower: "It is the view of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the necessary air, naval, and ground operations, including the extensive strategic and tactical use of atomic bombs, be undertaken, so as to obtain maximum surprise and maximum impact on the enemy, both militarily and psychologically."
(pslweb)

Letter on Korean War Massacre reveals plan to shoot exiles
A document from the Korean war's chaotic early days has come to light -- a letter from the U.S. ambassador informing the State Department that U.S. soldiers would shoot refugees approaching their lines. The letter is the strongest indication yet that such a policy existed for all U.S. forces in Korea, and the first evidence that that policy was known to upper ranks of the U.S. leaders. The letter reported on decisions made at a high-level meeting in South Korea on July 25, 1950, the night before the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment shot the refugees at No Gun Ri.
(washingtonpost)

PoWs from Korean War still held after 52 years
North Korea admitted that it was still holding prisoners from the Korean War as well as South Koreans it had abducted since. Ten PoWs are still in the North, 52 years after the war ended, the South Korean ministry of unification was told in response to inquiries about 103 missing people. Six PoWs and 10 abducted prisoners whose existence was unknown had died in captivity. The rest were unaccounted for.
(telegraph)

North Korea Targeted South Korea's Elite during War
Research has shown that North Korea systematically abducted young intellectuals from the South during the Korean War under prearranged plans. During the period, 2,919 public servants, 2,836 engineers, 863 professors and teachers, 572 medical staffs, 190 judicial officers, and 169 politicians were abducted to North Korea. Over 80% of the abductees were kidnapped from their homes or nearby, which indicates that the North made a list of the people to kidnap. Professor Kim`s team said that the communist regime purposely seized the so called intellectuals from the South Korea to meet their needs for brains.
(donga)